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Caesars employee says she was sent home from work for wearing latex gloves on the job

Posted at 8:03 AM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 11:34:03-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Over the past month, Caesars has sent several emails to employees laying out how the company is dealing with the growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus. The emails say the goal is clear -- to protect the health and safety of employees and guests. But one employee says the company's actions are speaking louder than its words.

"They want to wear gloves. Every single one of us," said a Caesars employee, who works for a high-traffic, high-volume property. KTNV 13 Action News agreed to keep the employee's identity anonymous because she fears she'll lose her job.

As the coronavirus continues to spread in the Nevada and across the U.S., the employee said she and her coworkers want to be able to wear clear latex gloves on the job.

"We're dealing with money, phones, credit cards... we're dealing with all of that," she said. "And we're not able to wear anything to protect us."

The employee said she asked for approval to wear gloves as early as a month ago, well before Clark County had its first presumptive case of coronavirus. Last week, she showed up to work with gloves.

"I got told by someone higher up that it wasn't a big deal and that we would make the guests feel uncomfortable," she said. "He told us we'd make the guests feel uncomfortable and that we'd make them feel like they have it and they're going to give it to us."

The employee said when she wouldn't take the gloves off, she was asked to leave for the day.

"I had a meeting with someone above and they basically just let us know that they sent an email out and they were just waiting on the okay to be able to wear things to protect ourselves but we've been waiting for the email for a little bit now," she said.

The employee said the delay feels like employee concerns not be taken seriously.

"What about us," she asked. "What about who we have at home and what we do every day because if one of us gets sick, everyone gets sick and then we have a bigger issue than just letting us wear gloves."

While the CDC mentions the use of gloves primarily as something that should be used when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, other health authorities have said COVID-19 can survive on cash, coins, credit cards and cell phones. It's because of this the employee said she believes her request to wear gloves is reasonable under the circumstances.

In a statement, Caesars said:

Caesars preventative measures in response to COVID-19 are based on CDC directives. CDC has stated that frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with sick people are the best methods to prevent against becoming infected. To this point, masks and gloves have not been specified as reliable preventative measures by CDC.

In an email sent to employees, Caesars also said the company would continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC and other

"I feel like they should care about us enough to let us wear stuff to prevent maybe from getting sick or from getting somebody else sick," the employee said. "That's how they make their money as well is with us too being there and being healthy and being able to be there to do what we do."